After winning a pair of matches on Wednesday to earn a berth in the state tournament, St. James finally ran into the tougher competition in 6A, falling in the regional semifinals on Thursday to Saraland and again in the consolation match to St. Paul’s Episcopal at the Multiplex at Cramton Bowl.
The Trojans put up a spirited fight in the early moments of each match against the Spartans, but superior depth gradually wore down the Competitive Balance-elevated program as Saraland won 25-14, 25-16 and 25-19.
In the consolation round, St. Paul’s won 25-14, 25-16 and 25-19. Despite the fourth-place finish, St. James coach Karen Lee was proud of her team’s showing at the regional.
“We are truly excited to be headed back to state this year,” she said. “We know the competition is very tough if you make it this far in the season and especially at the 6A level, so we feel very happy and proud to be one of the last eight teams still playing at this point in the season.”
In Thursday’s action, Danielle Green had 51 kills, 12 blocks, an ace, two digs and three assists, Sierra Boles had nine kills, a block, six aces, 27 digs and three assists, Veronika Kocian had a pair of kills, an ace, eight digs and 43 assists, Cameron Greene had seven kills, a block, seven aces, 41 digs and 48 assists, Kaylin Corley had a kill, eight aces, 37 digs and four assists, Ava Card had 26 kills, two blocks, three aces, 28 digs and four assists, Kiya Jupiter had five kills, six blocks, six digs and a pair of assists and Rachel Rice had 22 kills, six aces and nine digs.
By finishing fourth in the South Super Regional, the Trojans will face Mountain Brook, the North Super Regional champion, in the first round of the state tournament on Tuesday at the Birmingham CrossPlex.
6A STATE TOURNAMENT
Bill Harris Arena, Birmingham CrossPlex
Game 1 -- Saraland (52-4) vs. Hazel Green (28-14), 10:30 a.m.
Game 2 -- Athens (35-17) vs. St. Paul’s Episcopal (43-9), 10:30 a.m.
Game 3 -- Mountain Brook (39-12) vs. St. James (22-17), 10:30 a.m.
Game 4 -- Northridge (34-17) vs. Homewood (30-14), 10:30 a.m.
Game 5 -- winner of Game 1 vs. winner of Game 2, 4 p.m.
Game 6 -- winner of Game 3 vs. winner of Game 4, 4 p.m.
Game 7 -- Championship, 12:30 p.m.